Devotional Blog

Saturday, February 13, 2021 • Juanita Purdy • Personal Growth
Scriptures: Galatians 6:9

Motivation

 

Galatians 6:9: "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."

I was up early that morning. It was the day of the Mr. and Miss PHS pageant. As the senior class sponsor, the class officers had requested to do it as a fundraiser. It had been a lot of preparation and finally the day arrived. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. feeling restless and jittery. I could not get back to sleep and my mind began to wander. My main concern was whether we would have a large crowd. We had not sold many pre-show tickets so I was a bit apprehensive.

That is when I started to think of how unmotivated our students seem to be. It was like pulling teeth to get them to participate in anything. Then I started to reflect on the staff/faculty and how very few of them were willing to help. All I could think of was how we live in a self-serving and unmotivated society. I thought of all the work I had to do with only the help of about six class officers. I began to get frustrated and upset. I thought to myself, "I will never do this again".  That is when the Lord brought to my remembrance the contestants who were so delighted and had so much fun at rehearsal. They all came up to me and said, "Thanks for giving us the opportunity to do this."

Tears welled up in my eyes because in my heart I realized that what I was doing was not about me; but it was about me being what I need to be for someone else at the moment they needed me to.  I did not like the inconvenience, no one ever does but if I am not what I need to be at that moment then we both lose. It does not matter whether it is my skills, talent, knowledge, ability or simple things such as kindness, hope, love, friendship.  GOD has chosen each of us to fulfill a need and that is important.

I know that we all have to be many things to many people at times but what is much more rewarding is that we are able to be many things to many people. We cannot lose sight of who we are and what we do to help someone else become what GOD has planned for his or her life.  Our reward is that we become as well. That was all the motivation I needed. I thanked GOD for the redirection and the revelation that we should never be ashamed of our humanity nor should we be too prideful of it either. The Bible says that it is not good that "man" be alone so GOD made him a helper. GOD never intended for us to be alone; we are only like that to protect ourselves from hurt and rejection; but when we do that we lose our divine connection to the people who have been purpose in our life to help us grow and be fulfilled; as well as give us joy, love, strength, value and virtue.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020 • Juanita Purdy • General

Our Fingerprint of Faith

Hebrew 11:1- Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Long before fingerprinting became the go to method of investigating crime scenes, it was a significant part of the identity or authentication of a person. Before JESUS was born into the earthly realm, around 200 B. C. Babylonians used the fingerprint to authenticate written contracts.  It was the evidence of things seen. However, as time marched on and the knowledge of humans increased, man learned how to tap into an unseen world. Now, it is general understanding to human beings around the globe that just because you do not see it does not mean it does not exist. You cannot see a virus without the help of a high-powered microscope but you can see the effects of these microscopic organisms across the globe.  Some of the effects are dangerous and deadly. So as a means of uncovering the unseen, the development various tools became critical.

In 1843, the use of fingerprints became one of those critical tools of piercing hidden knowledge. Our faith in GOD works like those fingerprints.  It is a tool used to tap into HIS unseen spiritual world; the place from which all good and perfect things descend (James 1:17).  What is our hope? Our fingerprint of faith reveals the evidence of it. Evidence is information used to determine if a belief or position is true. It is used to confirm a thing, favor or unfavorable.  As a result, a fingerprint found at the scene provides the information needed to confirm the presence of that person. Our faith is the evidence the world needs to see in order to confirm the Presence of GOD in this earthly realm. When JESUS arrived on the scene, HE solidified GOD Presence in the earth; our mandate is to advance HIS Presence to the ends of the earth and occupy until HE returns (Mark 16:15). Accordingly, our faith is the evidence of that mission.  Our faith will also be the tool (that substance) used to access all of the Heavenly promises and provisions that are available to the children of GOD - the things we hope for.  Our faith will bring about the hidden revelations needed to grasp GOD's provisions from HIS unseen world (Hebrews 11:6)

Our faith also authenticates who we are as children of GOD.  Being born again children of the Heavenly Kingdom, our fingerprints should be all over the written contract (the HOLY BIBLE) that we have with the Kingdom of GOD.  It instructs us on the expectations of our FATHER Who Art in Heaven as well as HIS Promises and Provisions for us.  It provides us with the information needed to confirm the Presence of GOD operating in our lives.  GOD's Word is not only the information needed to confirm HIS Presence in this earthly realm but also it is the evidence of HIS Providence, which becomes the foundation of our faith. From the date of birth until the final resting place, the fingerprint never changes.  Many things about the human body often changes through the years, but the fingerprint is one of those things that does not change. It keeps the same pattern as the body grows and alters. It is a sure thing. That is how GOD expects our faith to be, as we develop and our knowledge increases, our faith in HIM continues to be unchanging and unwavering from beginning to end regardless of the favor or unfavorable situations around us. Amen!

Saturday, November 14, 2020 • Juanita Purdy • The Power of God
Scriptures: Ezekiel 37:1-3

 

Ezekiel 37: 1-3. The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"  I said, "Sovereign Lord, you alone know."

 

We see in this scripture where the SPIRIT of the LORD took Ezekiel to a valley full of dry bones.  Not only were the bones lifeless but they were very dry and on the valley floor.  As you read the entire passage 1-14, you will find that this representation of the nation of Israel was not just about death but also the circumstances around them.  The inner conditions were hopeless and the outer conditions were bleak, the image of a graveyard.  Imagine the picture of an uncovered cemetery in the lowest point of the land - a valley.  There was no sign of life anywhere. Whew! The thought of it is overwhelming, yet sometimes we as people can whimper the hopeless cry in conditions that are less severe than the image of that valley. What is interesting is that GOD asked Ezekiel's take on the matter. Ezekiel response is amazing! He did not respond how the majority of people would have responded.  Ezekiel can teach us a thing or two in this short passage.

Our first lesson, never underestimate the power of GOD, Who can drastically change a person's destiny including your own.  Ezekiel refrained from judgement.  Although his eyes saw a terrible situation relative to the natural view of things, he chose to look at the matter from a stance of faith in an Almighty GOD.  His response – Sovereign Lord – you alone know.  He recognized GOD's Ability and HIS Authority to take a failure and turn it into phenomena. He trusted that GOD could turn a ruin into a treasure and the most pitiful into the most powerful.  HE is an incredible GOD.

In the Hands of the Potter, GOD has demonstrated changing a nation of slaves to a nation of promised people.  Pharaoh could not see that; sometimes we cannot see that either - in ourselves as well as others.  Our natural eyes will never be able to recognize the promise or plan that GOD has for our destiny.  As slaves, they were broke, busted and disgusted – but GOD brought them out of that enslaved environment as a wealthy people. 

When we speak negativity about ourselves, others or situations in life – it underestimate the Power of GOD to do great exerts;  never underestimate the Power of GOD – we end up like Pharaoh – drowning in a life of misery. HE is a no limit GOD.  We certainly do not want to miss out seeing God do the marvelous and miraculous in our lives despite the opposition.  

This passage also teaches us that it is not what I look like or look at but what I say and do about the circumstances. In the valley of dry bones – GOD asked Ezekiel could these bones live again. Ezekiel recognized GOD's Power to propel change, not his own. These bones were in the lowest estate, the valleys were symbolic of that.  However, a valley can also be a place that is fertile and rich given the right conditions. Through the Divine Providence of GOD, that same valley can become a place that nourishes the dryness experienced when you feel left out and left behind.  Within GOD's reach, there is no mountain too high or valley too low.  GOD told Ezekiel to prophesy the Word of the LORD to the bones and when he did, what was once dry bones became an army, a force to reckon with. How powerful is that! He is still the same GOD. Allow your faith in GOD to know the Power of GOD working through you and for you to make you a recognizable force doing incredible things for HIS GLORY.  Amen.

 

Monday, October 05, 2020 • Juanita Purdy • Personal Growth

Habakkuk 2:4 - "See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright—but the righteous person will live by his faith.

 

In the short book of Habakkuk, this prophet is so distraught by the evil that was going on in the nation of Judah, he asked GOD to intervene. GOD responded that HE would send the ruthless nation of Babylon to execute judgement on the wickedness of Judah.  Habakkuk became more distraught, not disrespectful or doubtful but he maintained the position of honoring GOD and HIS Sovereignty. Then, Habakkuk reverently posed another question to GOD in relation to HIS Plan to send Babylon to punish Judah; "Why are YOU silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves." As Habakkuk made an appeal for the conditions of the nation, he maintained his stance, his watch, his station. He did not move or act until he heard from GOD.

Like Habakkuk, we often become distraught in the mist of trials, assaults or persecution. However, how we respond to that distress makes all the difference in the outcome. Although Habakkuk clearly saw and experienced the evil around him, his eyes were looking Heavenward. When we look at and respond to circumstances with our natural abilities, it creates a spiritual veil.  GOD has empowered HIS people with a surefire victory over the veil of limited vision according to 1Corinthians 3:14-18. Instead of operating in natural sight, the SPIRIT of the LORD gives us insight. It is human nature from most of our upbringing to respond to situations or conditions through our natural faculties. It is for this reason alone that we must transform our thought process in the likeness of CHRIST with our eyes on HIS prize and our thinking Heavenward. Natural sight will cause anyone to fear and shrink back the minute obstacles greater than their ability appears. When what is seen becomes overwhelming, human conditioning drives us to look for something that is less task intensive.  However, when our focus is on a greater vision larger than we are, there is more resolve to bear it and beat the odds. 

We see that Habakkuk although distraught by the evil happening throughout the nation of Judah, kept his focus on GOD whom he knew could fix the problem.  He refused to move from his stance or position. Habakkuk was determined to stay still and wait for the vision from God.  What an inspiration to us all especially as we observe the many evils happening in the world today.  Are we going to leave our post and look for other solutions; or will we take our stance and know that the GOD we serve, knows all, sees all and HE has a plan ready to be unveiled to those willing to wait for the vision.

GOD did show up and allayed all of Habakkuk concerns. GOD assured Habakkuk that there is an appointed time for all of GOD's judgements for HE is a Righteous Judge and HIS righteous people must live by faith in HIM.  Trust that HE knows what HE is doing even when it makes no logical sense in the human mind.  We must trust the purpose and plan HE has for our lives and know that every vision written in HIS book will come to past.  This faith race is liken to a 5k run, the more you train the better your chances at not only completing the race but also winning. Run the race of your life with the vision of God's promises for you.  Though they tarry, they will certainly come and will not delay. AMEN

 

Saturday, August 01, 2020 • Juanita Purdy • Faith

Jeremiah 30:17
"For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal," declares the Lord, "because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion, for whom no one cares!'"

Isaiah 61:7
Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

1 Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Amos 9:14
I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I wil

Deuteronomy 30:3-10

1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations. 2 When you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today. 3 Then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

 

Monday, July 06, 2020 • Juanita Purdy • Wisdom

Proverbs 4:5-9 Get wisdom, get understanding;do not forget my words or turn away from them. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom. Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9 She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown."

One of the greatest teachers of all time is wisdom.  In 1 King 3, Solomon had become king with the passing of his father, King David. The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him what he would want as reigning King.  Solomon demonstrated insight into the heart of God by asking for wisdom to rule the people and a discerning and obedient heart toward God.  God was so please that He gave Solomon wisdom of the ages and promised there would never be a wiser person on the earth. In addition to wisdom, God gave King Solomon both wealth and honor. What a powerful narrative.  That same King in turn wrote most of proverbs and advised us all to learn from wisdom. 

There are tremendous benefits in asking for wisdom according to James 1:5. James expressed that God will give wisdom to all generously without reproach by asking for it. Why did James suggest asking for wisdom? He was speaking of the virtue needed to face trials so that whatever the challenge, it will bring about maturity and the completed results God intended for allowing the trial in the first place. So why wisdom? King Solomon narrates that wisdom was the foundation in which God fashioned the earth. It is one of the seven spirits endowed to Jesus when he came to earth to do God's ordain mission of redeeming man back to Him. 

Proverbs 3:18 declares wisdom is the tree of life to those who take hold of her and happy are they who retain her. Therefore, if you are experiencing a trial, wisdom is definitely a virtue worth asking to have. Proverbs 3:7 states it is the principle thing. Wisdom speaks and she says that whoever listens to her will dwell in safety nor fear evil. According to Proverbs 1:33, length of days are in her right hand, riches and honor in her left hand. We are encouraged in Proverbs 4:6-8 not to forsake wisdom and she will preserve you; love her and she will keep you. We are counseled to exalt wisdom which means to esteem having wisdom in your life. Pray for God's wisdom to guide you every day. Ask Him to open your spiritual eyes to see the work of wisdom in life then learn from it. Pray for your spiritual ears to hear the call of wisdom. In doing so according Proverbs 4:8-9 she will bring you promotion and honor as you embrace her.

No wonder James admonishes us to pray for wisdom that is not according to the standards of this age. Knowing information is one thing; knowing how to use information is of great gain. That is the power of God's wisdom. Wisdom is the lifesaving, life-changing virtue that James encourages us to seek.  Wisdom like love is as perennial as life itself.  Be exhorted to allow your prayer focus plea to be for God's wisdom.  Ask for it, seek it and meditate on it through the scriptures of Proverb. "You just don't want to live life without it." If I had to use a tagline for wisdom it would be – "don't live life without it."  

Saturday, May 09, 2020 • • General

 

By Minister Juanita Purdy

"Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, "Woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." - John 19:25-27
May is the month that we honor mothers throughout the globe.  Many countries particularly in Europe and Asia honor the divine role of motherhood in the second week of May as well.  That role differs from woman to woman as much as it does from place to place.  Overall, we know that the roles of the mother include in some degree: nurturing, nursing, teaching, enlightening, encouraging, reinventing, reinforcing, redirecting, the list does not stop.  Neither does being a mother and it is never to just natural born children but it's to the nieces, nephews, godchildren, cousins, grandchildren, abandon children or abused children. It is to the adult children, or just adults, to those who suffered trauma and have lost their way or those who need a friend or an ally.  A mother's arms are never to full to hold you close and her heart is never empty, she lets her love surround you. She will never reject the ills of humanity but works tirelessly to be a vessel of healing to all. 

In the preceding scripture, we witness the burden of a mother's hearts.  Jesus' mother along with His aunt and beloved friends Mary Magdalene and John the disciple stood there in front; watching in what was sure to be gut wrenching pain to see Jesus crucified under the same banner of Love that gave them the courage to stand beside Him.  When all others who knew Him; taught and empowered by Him; either had forsaken him or rejected Him; they stood there beside Him unashamed. Even though Jesus had foretold to His disciples what was going to happen; they overtaken by fear and uncertainty remained afar and aloof. Jesus' own siblings, disciples and many followers were either not present or stood at a distance to remain "unnoticeable" by the Pharisees and those who sought to dismantle the Power and Influence of Jesus. However, His mother and the faithful few stayed there to attend His needs.  A friend to the end – is the heart of a mother. 
Jesus appreciated His mother's love; It was the authentication of the same sacrificial love that sent Him to the Cross. He bared the agony, suffering, and heartache for our greater hope of eternal salvation. His one last deed – was to ask His beloved friend to care for His beloved Mother. Jesus knew the heart of a mother who would risk it all to save their loved one, who would travel far-and-wide, even to the other side of the earth to be there. All in the name of God's Agape Love. He did it for us. Jesus lived that Love and died for it as well. His Love exemplifies the power of Love that radiates from a mother's heart. In the likeness of Jesus' example, true gratitude is to ensure her care in return. 

Monday, April 06, 2020 • • General

By Minister Juanita Purdy

This month we memorialize two great men whose lifetime achievement continues to resound throughout this country and beyond. They changed the standard of their times.  The late greats – President Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

President Lincoln moved justice forward in this country when it had been stagnated for 245 years.  As President during a war torn nation, he is applauded for setting almost 4 million people free from the oppression of slavery.  He was assassinated on April 15, 1865. 

Nearly 100 years later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged the same political and moral crisis of this nation, the oppression of millions of African Americans. He is applauded for advancing justice for millions as well. In one of his great quotes, Dr. King stated, "The God whom we worship is not a weak and incompetent God. He is able to beat back gigantic waves of opposition and to bring low prodigious mountains of evil. The ringing testimony of the Christian faith is that God is able." Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1969. 

Yet with all they have done, the impact of their courage and the tenacious quest for equality they launched; we continue that age-old fight for justice and doing what is morally right to do for everyone.  Jesus encouraged us also in Luke 18: 7-8, when He said, "And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" 

Justice is a universal challenge. As we read throughout the Bible, we see where one of the moral requirements of God's people was to uphold justice. 

Micah 6:8 - He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Isaiah 61:8 - "For I, the Lord, love justice; hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness, I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Proverbs 29:7 - The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

This fight for justice started with the sinful fall of man and has continued throughout the ages.  Jesus, whose own crucifixion noted to have happened in April, took on an even greater cause: the injustice, the oppression and the imprisonment of humanity from satanic control.  The devil uses man's sin and state of separation from God as way to imprison the heart and soul of man to do his bidding. What started with Cain and Abe in Genesis has become a global crisis.  So the fight continues even after the sacrifice of many lives, the fight for justice continues.  That is why we as persecuted Christians and targets of some of the most heinous injustices are encouraged to use Luke 18: 7-8 as an anchor and cry out fervently and persistently to God for justice.  When we do it God's way, we will get lasting results that will change the standard of these times.
 

Saturday, March 21, 2020 • • General

 

   By Minister Juanita Purdy

I was married to an Army Soldier for twenty-five years. During that time, I was exposed to an arsenal of weapons that the military had at its disposal to guard against an attack of the enemy. Having those weapons at our disposal made America "great". Using those weapons effectively, 
made America a "superpower". This experience helped me understand the meaning of being armed and armored. Being "armed" is to be ready for an attack at anytime and anywhere because you are equipped with what is needed for effective action against the adversary. The enemy is always looking for a way to do a sneak attack. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8, "be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour".  

There are many things that makes us vulnerable to satan's attacks; however, Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us that we have weapons of warfare and that these weapons are mighty in pulling down strongholds. This scripture calls for us to be armored with the Belt of truth; Breastplate of righteousness; Gospel of peace; Shield of faith; Helmet of salvation; Sword of the Spirit (Word of God) and Prayer done in the Spirit.  

When we are "armored", we have a protective covering that is used to prevent damage from being inflicted on us or our resources by direct 
contact weapons used during combat. This makes us great because this protection covers us from damage caused by a potentially dangerous environment or actions that are used by the adversary to gain an advantage over us. However, when we strategically cover our soul (will and emotions), actions, mind, and spiritual atmosphere in prayer with the Word of God, the Bible states in verse 11 of Ephesians 6 that "we will be able to withstand the schemes of the enemy".  

As a spiritual superpower we not only withstand the schemes of the enemy; but "we will trample the enemy" according to Luke 10:19.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 • • General

 


February, a month that some people love to see come, others wish they could skip right over and spring into March. A month meant for love and sacrifice, February symbolism of mighty love range from the historical account of St. Valentine to legends of cupid. Coming from the standpoint of someone who has experienced a mighty love, right from the lyrics of the Spinners' certified gold record, I believe love and passion is the essence of a mighty love and it is as perennial as God Himself. 
My account of mighty love started when I met my ex-husband. We were married for twenty-five years. We did not always have marital bliss but we definitely shared passion. We have always been passionate about each other and the things we undertook.  We still share that passion although we are divorced. I knew he was the man I wanted to marry when I looked up and unexpectedly, he was knocking on my door, some 300 miles from where we met. We met at the University of South Florida in Tampa. There was an instant connection and attraction.  When it was time to go home for Christmas break, (the dorms would close) we were heartbroken because we knew it would be three weeks before we saw each other again.  
Being college students, we were financially broke. Neither of us had any money, but that did not stop him. His mighty love compelled him to work in an orange grove where he picked enough oranges to buy a ticket to come and visit me.  He already had my heart but he definitely won the heart of my family.  I am still grateful for those moments, each time we visited the area, he would always point to that grove as an expression of his passionate love for me.  Throughout our marriage, his passion was evident in so many ways. He did not hold back his tokens of love.
I can sense that same kind of passion when I read Psalms 63.  King David's mighty love is evident in this "certified gold" love song he wrote to God and it runs deep.  In verse 1, he declares his thirst for God's presence only and nothing or no one can satisfy that. We read that he sets his eyes on the Lord and is constantly seeking Him. He would not make a move without Him.  In verse 2 and 3, King David embraces the very presence of God and demonstrates his mighty love for God through praises and the lifting of his hands in total adoration. Then he validate his mighty love for God by keeping his heart open to the Lord.  He writes in verse 6 of how his mind constantly stayed on God all through the night and he waited expectantly to hear from Him.  He allowed nothing to get in the way of that, no distractions, aspirations, disappointments, absolutely nothing.  That is passionate love, who can resist it.  As a result, God honored King David and esteemed him higher than any other king in Israel's history.  God has made that same promise of honor, protection, and deliverance for those who love Him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. His Mighty Love is one that will never end in separation or divorce.  

Minister Juanita Purdy